A caregiver may well need to reduce work hours, or even give up work. On top of that they may have extra expenses. They may have to travel to be with you and perhaps pay for help (such as child care) to cover their other responsibilities. They may also be reluctant to reclaim the cost of medications, products and other household items that they may pick up for you.

What may help

Government benefits

While they will not cover the full cost of caring for a person with advanced cancer, the payments and allowances available through Centrelink for caregivers are worth investigating.

Access to superannuation

With the right documentation (written certification from a specialist and one other doctor) a person who is expected to live for less than a year may apply to their superannuation fund for a lump-sum payout. You may choose to use some of this money to cover your caregiver’s costs.

Other assistance

The Cancer Services Directory on your state’s Cancer Council website will have information about the financial assistance programs run by charities in your area. Some of these programs may help with the cost of care giving.

For more information

The Cancer Council has a Welfare Grants Program that can, in cases of extreme hardship, provide financial help to people with cancer. Contact the Cancer Council in your state.

Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.

Last updated 30 August 2015